Stable Pakistan essential for peace, progress in region: UK

Last Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 18:14

Karachi: Britain on Sunday said a stable and
secure Pakistan was essential to have peace and progress in
the region.

"It is absolutely essential that there is stability
and security in Pakistan if we are to have peace and progress
in this region," British Foreign Minister David Miliband told
reporters after visiting the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam in
Karachi.

Asking for an end to the ongoing political clashes in
Karachi, Miliband said the international community was greatly
disturbed by the violence in the port city.

"Karachi is the hub of Pakistan`s economy and there
should be an end to this political violence. It is a city
which has opened its arms and offers livelihood to many people
who have lived together peacefully for years," he said.

A spate of target killings in the last few weeks has
left over 100 people dead in the city with the Mutthaida Qaumi
Movement, Awami National party and ruling Pakistan Peoples
Party all claiming their workers were being targeted.

Today, the crisis management cell of the federal
government asked all parties to submitted names of their
workers who have fallen victim to target killings in the city.

The MQM and ANP submitted lists of their killed
workers with Faisal Sabzwari, a parliamentarian from MQM,
claiming that since last year 80 workers of the party had been
gunned down.

Police said atleast 41 people have lost their lives in
the last four days in target killings including six since last
night.

Miliband said the UK was keen to increase its trade
ties with Pakistan and that is why it was keen to see peace in
Karachi.

"I have met with young business leaders and
industrialists today and have had constructive discussions
with them," he said.

Miliband also said last year the United Kingdom had
issued more visas to Pakistani nationals then it did in 2008.

"Atleast that is a step in the right direction and
something to build on. Contrary to what some people think we
are keen to have more Pakistanis come over to UK for studies,
business and visits," Miliband said.

PTI




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